“What are effective cost-reduction strategies that can be employed with digital signage to keep your capital investment and maintenance low?”
The most effective cost-reduction strategy for any project is doing the project the right way the first time. Your capital investment may not be the lowest, but your maintenance will be lower than “cheaping out” on your initial investment.
We had a client who wanted a 70-inch monitor for a large gathering space. They balked at the cost of a commercial grade monitor and went to the local big box and had me install that monitor instead. They may have saved $1,500. After eight months of continuous use, the back panel started to die. They were surprised when there wasn’t a warranty on the monitor so they directed me to get “the least expensive commercial grade 70-inch monitor.” I was able to find one that was slightly less than what I had originally quoted them. Luckily for them, we were able to do the hardware change in-house and not have an additional charge for a vendor to come back in to swap out monitors. So in the end, they ended up paying about one and a half times what I originally quoted them.
At the end of the day, we are dealing with hardware that usually is on 24/7, so do the right thing and don’t cheap out on your hardware especially if you are not the one doing the work. Not only will you pay to update hardware more often, but you will also spend more man-hours maintaining lower quality hardware.